Better typographic support? RFC
So far, MuseScore typographic support for textual areas has been rather rudimentary, probably because Qt support for this is rudimentary to start with.
Someone may reply that text is secondary in a music notation software. I do not believe so: textual elements are many and diverse in scores: from longer blocks with additional stanzas at the end of vocal scores, to the myriad of smaller elements: title/composer/subtitles blocks, tempo indications, performance or stage (for operas) annotations, copyright marks, running headers and footers, ...; different functions, different requirements and, often, different typographic solutions.
The following is an initial list of features which any programme intending to support text beyond Notepad should implement (and, in fact, most of them do implement), approx. from the most to the least important.
Line height is essential: currently MuseScore is fixed at 0 leading, which results in text blocs as ugly as these (additional stanzas at the end of a vocal score):
Tracking is also rather important: MuseScore is fixed at 0 tracking, which results, for instance in this:
which could better look as (reproduced outside of MuseScore):
Access to OpenType features. This is very important; I am a bit surprised that previous calls for it (by myself or other: search the site for "OpenType") had no consequences. It is also a pity that, when Qt at last included OpenType support via harfbuzz, they made the very dumb decision of not making it accessible to client applications, which makes things unnecessarily complex.
Relevant OpenType feature include (again approx. from more to less important):
3.1.: Upper/lower case figures (also called "lining" and "old style" figures), i.e. the
onum features (the
tnum feature is probably less important, once one can be sure that the
pnum feature is activated).
3.2.: Small capitals, both in the
smcp and in the
c2sc flavour (
pcap being less important, as very few fonts implement petite capitals).
3.3.: Additional ligatures:
liga is automatically activated by Qt (OT specification suggests that
rlig be active by default, but I have no idea what Qt decided to do with them).
3.4.: Character variants / Stylistic sets:
ss01-20. This could also apply to musical features for stylistic variants already recognised as such in SMuFL.
A) As I am rather sick of tracking Qt deficiencies on typographic matters, I may be not aware of recent improvements about them. If anyone knows of them, I would eagerly learn!
B) Am I the only one feeling the need for these improvements?
C) Does anyone suggest other typographic improvements I did not think of?